Memory in the lungs: New insights into Asthma and allergies

How lung cells will remember for a lifetime to allergens

The lung has specialized memory cells that will remember for a lifetime to inhaled allergens and immediately react to them. Researchers from Austria see in this new discovery, a possible reason why a majority of Asthma and hay fever react-Affected life-long allergic and why the reactions increase, if you are more common with the allergens in contact.

A recent study by the Medical University of Vienna identified the so-called T-lymphocytes in the lungs as the memory cells, which remember to inhaled allergens and immediately react to them, when they are again inhaled. These special cells remain in the tissue in the lungs and that asthmatics suffer from indoor and asthmatic seizures. The researchers see in these cells is the reason why an Allergy often live long. The results of the study were recently presented in the journal “Frontiers in Immunology”.

Asthma and hay fever, are highly prevalent

Around 70 to 100 million people in Europe suffer from Asthma or allergic rhinitis. The Affected allergens breathe, such as Pollen from grasses and trees, this leads immediately to symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough and wheezing. The exact reasons why this violent reaction of substances takes place, are largely unknown until today. Asthma and hay fever are also a health policy or social Problem. The annual cost for loss of Working hours and the health system in the EU was estimated at 55 to 151 billion euros.

No seizures without allergens

“Allergic Asthma may be Suffering from a chronic, but often only temporarily. So, for example, if people with allergens to which they are sensitized, come in contact,“ says study leader Michelle Epstein in a press release the Medical University of Vienna. For example, seasonal Asthma, which is caused by tree pollen lead to seizures only asthma, if the Pollen are in the air and be inhaled. At other times, the Affected no lung problems.

Why lung never forget

“Our study shows for the first time that T-lymphocytes (Th2-TRMs) will remain over 600 days in the lungs, and proves that immune-induced logical memory already after the first attack of allergic Asthma and the memory T-cells remain for a lifetime,” says Allergy expert. The researchers found around 150,000 to 200,000 memory cell in the lung that are immediately activated when allergens are inhaled. In addition, the research team found evidence that the number of memory cells increased, if an Allergic or Allergy is often exposed to the allergens. This could possibly lead to a severe course of the Allergy.

New therapy for Asthma?

The researchers consider it possible that from these findings, a new therapy for Asthma. To do this you must manipulate the memory cells of the lung. “But for this it is necessary to find a way that these cells are selectively eliminated, without other memory T affect cells that protect us against bacteria and viruses,” adds co-author Sahar Kazemi. (vb)